13 Actors Who Best Encapsuled Their Role as the President of the U.S.

Written By CJ Ervin

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Do you have a favorite on-screen portrayal of the president of the United States? You’re not alone. After someone polled an online film forum, here are their favorites.

1. Martin Sheen in The West Wing

Martin Sheen The West Wing
Image Credit: NBC Universal.

Many agreed that Martin Sheen in The West Wing was, by far, the number one best answer. That fact that the show illustrated the President’s more human aspects in comparison to the cold, calculated Commander in Chief we usually get on screen.

2. Michael Douglas in The American President

Michael Douglas The American President
Image Credit: Sony Pictures Releasing.

From the creator of The West Wing comes a rom-com drama that follows Michael Douglas as the President and a widower up for re-election. On his path to re-election, the President falls in love with an environmental lobbyist, all the while struggling to get a newly created crime bill passed.

3. Bill Pullman in Independence Day

Bill Pullman
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Bill Pullman delivered a speech worthy of an entire planet’s undivided attention, then donned a flight suit and joined the fight for humanity’s survival on Independence Day, in Independence Day. Rumor has it the directors didn’t initially plan to keep the speech we hear and see on screen, but Pullman did such a great job with his delivery that they had no choice. Could you imagine President Whitmore (Pullman) giving any other speech in that scene? Me either!

4. Terry Crews in Idiocracy

Terry Crews Idocracy
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Despite sci-fi comedy, President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho hails some of the natural traits we want in a leader. “A president who looks out for and inspires his people, keeps Congress in line, defers to advisers for innovative solutions in a time of crisis, and admits when he was wrong? Too unrealistic.”

5. Kevin Kline in Dave

Kevin Kline Dave
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

One person noted that Kevin Kline “plays the president and a man playing the president — it’s 2x as much as other actors playing the president.”

6. Paul Giamatti in John Adams

Paul Giamatti
Image Credit: HBO.

Paul Giamatti’s performance in the HBO miniseries John Adams made it easier for many to gain a better understanding of the second President of the United States of America.

7. Sam Rockwell in Vice

Sam Rockwell
Image Credit: Annapurna Pictures.

This film wasn’t about former President Bush in its entirety, but Rockwell rocks well as George Dub-Yah Bush. Instead, the film centers on former Vice President Dick Cheney on his rise to the most powerful vice president in history.

8. Josh Brolin in W.

Josh Brolin
Image Credit: Lionsgate.

This following depiction of Bush does come from a Bush-centered movie. However, in the 2008 film W., Josh Brolin puts on a masterful performance in this biographical comedy-drama. It is a beautiful display of skill and a remarkable chronicle of the life of number 43!

9. Martin Sheen in Kennedy

Martin Sheen
Image Credit: NBC.

In 1983 there was a miniseries that followed the brief but powerful presidency of President John F. Kennedy. The miniseries aired its final episode on the 20th anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination. So it seems Martin Sheen has made his second appearance on this list.

10. Bruce Greenwood in Thirteen Days

Bruce Greenwood
Image Credit: New Line Cinema.

JFK lands on the list for a second time, and Bruce Greenwood brought him to the screen this time around. Thirteen Days exhibit the crucial and tense moments around the Cuban Missile Crisis.

11. Jack Nicholson in Mars Attacks!

Jack Nicholson
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

Martians with a wicked sense of humor and an immensely advanced arsenal invade Earth. A hilariously nonchalant president is not the fix for a hostile alien force. Jack Nicholson was great. When the cruel creatures annihilated the entire Congress in a seemingly peaceful conference, the military’s leaders were left to call the shots.

12. Morgan Freeman

Morgan Freeman
Image Credit: FilmDistrict.

Morgan Freeman gets a four-for-one today. He has portrayed the POTUS on multiple occasions; Deep Impact, The Sum of All Fears, Olympus Has Fallen, and Olympus Has Fallen. I don’t know what it is, but Morgan Freeman can do it all. He has played everything from an enslaved person to God. Wow!

13. Jamie Foxx in White House Down

Jamie Foxx
Image Credit: Sony Pictures Releasing.

Foxx plays a mild-mannered POTUS who is in the wrong oval office at the wrong time. A group of heavily armed mercenaries descends on the White House, leaving a Capitol Police Officer to team up with the President to protect our Nation’s Capitol.

Source: Reddit.

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Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

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Lucy Scarlett Johansson
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

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Arsenic and Old Lace
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

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The Hangover Part III
Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

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The Master of Disguise
Photo Credit: Sony Pictures Releasing.

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